Unrest and repression are common bedfellows for the Ukraine. First it was the Bolshevik and Stalinist Russia and then a Nazi occupation. When Sorrows Come draws from this period in history starting in 1939 when Stalin took Western Ukraine from the Poles and began a reign of terror that saw many Ukranians deported to almost certain death in Siberia.
Then in 1941 it was the turn of the Nazi’s to invade and abuse the Ukraine, any hopes that they would be allowed to govern their own country were soon dashed. Hitler enslaved much of the indigenous population to work on the land and feed the German people. Even when a Ukranian division of the Waffen SS was formed there was no respect, they were just sent to fight on the Eastern Front and essentially used as cannon fodder.
Any lingering hopes of independence were dashed by the Red Army’s rampage west from Stalingrad. When they reached Halychyna in Western Ukraine, Stalin instructed the NKVD to destroy the ambitions of the Ukrainian people of achieving independent nationhood. The brutality with which this was done even exceeded their slaughter of political prisoners in 1941. The Ukrainian Insurgent Army was remorselessly destroyed as were any citizens thought to have sympathy with the partisans.
When Sorrows Come is the first novel in Maria Dziedzan’s My Lost Country Series. It won The Big Bingham Book Read in 2015 and was one of four finalists for the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2016.
When teenager Anna’s family in Ukraine is torn apart by Stalin’s bullies, she and her mother must try to survive the Russian occupation of their village. But the violence intensifies in the Second World War when the Nazis invade, and as the Fascists’ cruelty affects those close to her, Anna’s resilience grows. She has the will to survive the occupying force despite the dangers.
When her lover joins the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, she decides to help the partisans in their fight against powerful enemies. Her courage does not fail as she loses those she loves…but being brave doesn’t guarantee survival.
The second novel in the series will be published in early 2017.
Here is a little look at the storyline for When Sorrows Come:
The door opened and someone peered out, holding a lantern. He saw infantrymen of the Red Army on his porch wearing crumpled greatcoats with red collar patches. On their heads, soft ushankas, the red star prominently displayed at the front, framing hard faces.
“Who’s there?” he asked in Polish, hoping his eyes were deceiving him.
“Soldiers of the Red Army, comrade,” announced the leader as he barged in. “And you are Enemies of the People!”
The Polish farmer stepped back quickly in order to avoid being knocked over. In his night-shirt he was shocked and frightened, but he looked almost as if he had been expecting them. The rumours had begun to spread of Polish families being turned off their farms and being sent God knew where. He began to gather his wits. “You can’t just barge in here. This is our home…”
Purchase this Book
Available now from Amazon, you can purchase this Story of Ukranian Oppression and be reading it in minutes if you chose the Kindle version. Use the links below:
- When Sorrows Come – My Lost Country Series – USA Printed Version – $14.69
- When Sorrows Come – My Lost Country Series – USA Kindle Version – $3.99
- When Sorrows Come – My Lost Country Series – UK Printed Version – £11.99
- When Sorrows Come – My Lost Country Series – UK Kindle Version – £2.99
You can find out all about Maria and her other books via this link Maria Dziedzan
This a fabulous book that looks at the history of Europe and the period around the second world war. It also makes you wonder if history is about to repeat itself. Only this time it is is not Stalin who is the threat but rather a saber rattling Putin that has seems to have aspirations towards European, if not world, domination.